Friday, February 16, 2007

Not Just A Song

My Negara Ku
I've had a problem with this for a very long time. Actually since my eldest started primary school.
No, not a problem with our national anthem, but with people not singing it when they should be. Oh. I am not making a judgement here of people who do not like to or simply do not sing Negara Ku.
I am not questioning their patriotism at all.
Just because I like singing the national anthem does not make me more patriotic than the person beside me who isn't singing it.
I am just curious. Wondering aloud, if I may.
Perhaps, it makes me feel the odd-one-out, as the only adult (almost always) in the crowd, singing the national anthem.
It must have been 11 years ago that I began noticing that people didn't really sing the national anthem when it was being played.
I remember I was about the only parent singing it during morning assembly at my son's primary school.
It was the school's Monday morning ritual to have the anthem played.
The children, would, of course, be singing. But not the adults. And I mean parents as well as teachers.
Is it because they did not know the words? I doubt that very much.
Shyness? But, why shy? Or, they don't much care?
Then, I began to really be observant whenever the national anthem was being played during functions.
And I notice that Malaysian adults don't really sing (out loud) the national anthem.
Oh, yeah.... they mouth it. But they don't sing it.
I think it's not just shyness. It's laziness because the anthem is usually played accompanied by a choir and it saves them from having to sing.
And they are quite happy not singing it. You know-lah, Malaysians. Always shy.
So, what they do is open and close their mouths, pretending to sing it.
Also, perhaps, having to stand for a full five to seven minutes is tiring enough. So, singing is asking a bit much. You reckon?
Why have I brought up this subject?
Well, I was at a launching of a building two days ago and, yes you've guessed it -- Negara Ku was played and everybody, of course, stood up.
And, as I had expected, I couldn't hear voices singing. I could hear mine and my friend Shue's.
But not the rest of the guests'.
The next time you are at an event where Negara Ku is being played, just listen. And you will not hear.


Malay-tion said...

Not proud anymore lah, that's why people are NOT singing the NegaraKu. Could be also the people not singing the national anthem is because they have dual citizenship? Or they have PR status for other countries.

It is a problem, I agree.

Should we change it to English language?

My Nation (Negara Ku)
The Land that shed my Blood (Tanah tumpah nya darah ku)
The People Live (Rakyat hidup)
United and Advanced (Bersatu dan Maju)
Our King

Bah, I can't remember the lyrics. What's wrong with me?!

Typhoon Sue said...

".The next time you are at an event where Negara Ku is being played, just listen. And you will not hear"

... but in the off chance that I do hear someone singing, I'll know it must be you then.... hahahaha...

I am usually a bit shy to actually sing it because, well, simply put, I can't sing! The same goes for birthday songs, i just mouth it and then laugh at everybody else who sings it off key...

Like you said, let's not question the patriotism of these non-singing malaysians, moi included.

While I'm actually proud of Nnegaraku, I do somehow wish that it can be sung in a more contemporary style - like Star-spangled Banner being sung differently by James Brown and Janet Jackson. Perhaps our Ning Baizura and Andy (Flop Poppy) can do their version sometimes.

But then again, I'm sure some quarters would heavily criticize the move and accusations of 'mencemar lagu kebangsaan' would probably dominate the headlines. Sigh...


malay-ton -- nothing wrong with you. absolutely not.
you must be just shy-lah.

sue -- er er... yes...that husky voice toni-braxton sound-alike moi. hahaaa...
ok ok... that off-key all-the-time-but-not-shy-one is moi.
you know, sue.. short of being accused of preaching (which I am not, really, really) i do believe that people should sing the NegaraKu. It is meant to be sung. Maybe the tune isn't that original, but the lyrics are.
Sigh.... looks like I'll be the only one yet again, and again, singing the blues,I mean the Negara Ku
... unless you join me, Sue. Howzabout that?

Anonymous said...

Dearest Nuraina,

I would sing it loud and clear if the lyric is changed to this:

Negara Ku,
Tanah tumpah nya darah ku.
Pemimpin hidup,
Mewah kerana rasuah.
Rahmat bahagia,
Tuhan kurniakan.
Habis dibolot,
Pemimpin yang tamak haloba.

Now you understand why most people doesn't like to sing the original "Negara Ku".

Cheers to you.

elly said...

Hi Nuraina!

A very interesting topic...

As for me, I just LOVE singing Negaraku! (but only the original, slow version; not the modified, faster one)

in fact, i still get goosebumps everytime i sing it...Rasa terharu dan bangga sangat2!

shar101 said...

If only one of our more enterprising musicians can do a 'Negara Ku' rendition like what Jimi Hendrix did with 'The Star-Spangled Banner', I will be eternally grateful.

The establishment and stuffy necks may disapprove but it may just turn out to be THE ANTHEM for Bloggers United.

lubok melayu said...

adik aina,
betul tu, orang malaysia selalu malu tak kena tempat. bapak2 menteri rata-rata tak tau malu, kulit tebal seperti badak sumbu, tapi bila nak nyanyi Negara ku, ramai yang malu2 kucing gatal. tapi kalau pasal karaoke, nombor Satu. kalau pasal bedek rakyat, nombor Satu. kalau pasal "singing praises" for the nombor Satu, sikit punya tak malu.
saya, kalau menyanyi negaraku, diatas paru-paru saya (at the top of my lungs). tak segan, tak silu.
kalau nyanyi Semalam di Malaya pun gitu. Lagu itu juga digemari oleh ayahanda adik, Pak Samad.
Sambungan "Tuesdays with Bapak" pasti, kan?

shanghaistephen said...

M.y D.ear,
Dim the lights, put a tv screen in front, some 'chicks' around and a beer in one hand and you can get any man to belt out any songs at the top of their voices... (usually off-key) in a pub, lounge or karaoke joint!!heh...heh... BUT to sing the National Anthem....(minus the above mentioned enviroment)suddenly very shy one lah !Why huh ??
Not me...My Dear, I will sing this national anthem with passion "not because I love the government of the day...But I love my country MORE"!!!(am I plagarising dear???)
Cheers Negara Ku !

zewt said...

been a while since i sang that song. dun really know if i will sing if it's played in my presence... but i will certainly stand up.

Anonymous said...

Like Nuraina and Elly I sing Negara Ku with my heart and soul - every time. Just like I used to in school. The patriotism hasn't diminished one bit although the years have flown!


A Voice said...

Ditto here. Do not bother of those shy ones. I will sing along.

Can even take the mike to go on stage, if they have the karaoke machine churning M Nasir's "Pada Mu Kekasih", and Ramli Sharif's "Camelia".

To show I am not just bias towards Singapore born naturalised Malaysian, I am ok with Sinatra's "Fly me to the Moon" and "NY NY".

A Voice said...


Hendrix's Woodstock Live "Star Spangled Banner" version was a protest song against the hypocrasy of American atrocities in Vietnam. I am actualy playing the MP3 now as I writ thsi comment.

I would suggest Man Kidal be given that honour. Rocky has the image but let his laptop do the screaming. I lost that image after I saw the remain of Lynyrd Skynyrd one summer more than 20 years ago.

Now we need a protest theme for Man Kidal's Negara Ku. What'll it be? Atrocities against human intelligence?

nstman said...

I used to sing negara ku with gusto during secondary school - with schoolmates of all races. that was a long time ago when people of all races could interact without being coerced. today, i have forgotten the lyrics and negara ku seems a relic of the past.